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Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership finalists 2022

Classic Motor Show 2022

1964 Gilbern GT, Christopher Bailey

1964 Gilbern GT, Christopher Bailey
1964 Gilbern GT, Christopher Bailey

Gilbern, the only Welsh car production company was founded in the late Fifties by an unexpected duo; a master butcher and a German engineer. The company's first car was the two-door coupé GT.

The cars were hand built to order and sold as a component car with a one-piece moulded body.  It was fully trimmed and painted leaving the buyer to complete the build over a weekend by adding the supplied new mechanical components. Alternatively, it was fully built by the factory at a cost of £1261 (£88 less than a Jaguar).

Christopher’s Gilbern GT was originally registered to and raced by Allan Phillips. In an article published in Veterinary News in July 1968, Allan said: “Unfortunately my classification was always in the GT class up to 2 litres and while I was never beaten by an MGB, an adequately driven Lotus Elan could beat me.  Still I had a lot of fun (not to mention expense).”

From the mid 1960s the GT went through a series of owners and was found derelict in the early 90s. The owner previous to Christopher completed a body-off rebuild before the car was featured in a BBC Wales film about Gilbern.
Christopher says” “I’d been searching for this car for many years, having had Gilberns since the early 80’s, as it bears my initials ‘CPB’. I managed to take it over in 2000. I use it all year round unless salt is on the road, going mainly to shows and non-competitive rallies.”

Chiselling away just one layer of the old paintwork was a six-month long retirement project for Christopher in 2020. The subsequent re-spray to light green has led to many admiring comments.

The Gilbern GT makes Christopher proud to be Welsh.

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